Download Video Links
A 36-year-old Border Patrol agent was killed in an “attack” while on patrol along the southern border in Texas, authorities say. His partner was also injured in the Sunday morning incident.
Rogelio Martinez was rushed to the hospital, but died of his injuries, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said in a press release Sunday.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Agent Martinez and his family, and with the agent who was injured,” the agency said. The incident occurred in Van Horn in Culberson County, Texas.
Few details about his death have been released so far. Here’s what we know so far:
1. Martinez Was Injured While Responding With His Partner to ‘Activity’ in the Big Bend Sector
Rogelio Martinez and his partner, whose name has not been released, were on patrol in the Big Bend Sector in Texas when the incident occurred, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said in a statement.
Martinez and his partner “were responding to activity while on patrol near Interstate 10, in the Van Horn Station area. Agent Martinez’s partner reported that they were both injured and in need of assistance. Responding agents provided immediate medical care, and transported both agents to a local hospital,” the statement said.
Details about what led to their injuries have not been released. No one has been arrested in connection to the incident. Photos from the scene showed investigators surrounding a Border Patrol pickup truck on a dirt area off the road.
“Border Patrol agents from Big Bend Sector and the Culberson County Sheriff’s Department secured the scene. ” the agency said in the statement. “The Culberson County Sheriff’s Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Office of Inspector General, and CBP’s Office of Professional Responsibility are investigating.”
2. His Partner Remains in Serious Condition at a Local Hospital With Unspecified Injuries as Police Search for Witnesses & Suspects
Martinez’s partner, whose name has not been released, remains in serious condition at a local hospital. Police have not said what type of injuries the agent sustained during the incident.
While he recovers, police have been searching for both suspects and witnesses.
“The Border Patrol’s Special Operations Group and agents from CBP’s Air and Marine Operations are searching the area for potential suspects or witnesses,” the agency said in a statement.
3. Martinez, an El Paso Native, Had Been a Border Patrol Agent Since 2013 & Had Been Engaged Since May
Rogelio “Roger” Martinez is a native of El Paso, Texas, according to his Facebook page. He joined the Border Patrol as an agent in August 2013, officials told KFOX-TV. He was part of the Border Patrol’s 1,018th graduating class of agents.
According to his Facebook page, Martinez has also lived in Temecula, California. He had been engaged since May 2017, according to his fiancee’s Facebook page.
“I had the pleasure of meeting you Roger Martinez. You are a true good soul. I still can’t accept you are gone,” Bridget Moon wrote on Facebook, along with a photo of Martinez. “You did so many good things for my girl and her children. You where not suppose to leave this soon. May God bless your kind soul. Thank you for everything you did. You will not be forgotten. R.I.P”
Arlene Lazcano wrote on Facebook, he was a “really good friend…all of our friend. May his family have comfort through this difficult time.”
Another friend, Larry Arellano, wrote, “Can’t believe the news I got today. Thank you for the many laughs and good times listening to our favorite band. RIP Roger Martinez you will be greatly missed buddy.”
Rudy Marin Jr. wrote on Facebook, “I never thought in a million years I would lose a friend like this. Rest In Peace Roger. Missing you already bro.”
4. President Trump Tweeted ‘We Will Seek Out & Bring to Justice Those Responsible’
President Donald Trump took to Twitter to post about Martinez’s death, calling for justice and also for a wall to be built.
“Border Patrol Officer killed at Southern Border, another badly hurt. We will seek out and bring to justice those responsible. We will, and must, build the Wall!” Trump tweeted Sunday night.
Elaine Duke, the Trump administration’s acting Secretary of Homeland Security, issued a statement about the agent’s death.
“Earlier this morning, I was notified that Border Patrol Agent Rogelio Martinez died as a result of serious injuries suffered while on patrol in the Big Bend Sector of our southern border in Texas. Agent Martinez was responding to activity while on patrol with another agent, who was also seriously injured,” she wrote. “We are fully supporting the ongoing investigation to determine the cause of this tragic event. On behalf of the quarter of a million frontline officers and agents of DHS, my thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Agent Martinez and to the agent who is in serious condition.”
5. Senator Ted Cruz Called the Incident an ‘Attack’ on Border Patrol Agents & Said ‘We Are Grateful for the Courage & Sacrifice of Our Border Agents’
Texas Senator Ted Cruz was among those expressing condolences, calling the incident an “attack on two Big Bend Sector Border Patrol agents,” in a statement.
““Our condolences and prayers go out to the family and friends of Border Patrol Agent Rogelio Martinez, who was killed this morning in the line of duty. We are also praying for the full recovery of his partner, who was also attacked,” Cruz said. “This is a stark reminder of the ongoing threat that an unsecure border poses to the safety of our communities and those charged with defending them.”
Cruz added, “We are grateful for the courage and sacrifice of our border agents who have dedicated their lives to keeping us safe. I remain fully committed to working with the Border Patrol to provide them with all the resources they need to safeguard our nation.”
U.S. Rep. Will Hurd, also of Texas, said in a statement, “My thoughts are with the loved ones of Border Patrol Agent Rogelio Martinez, who was fatally injured in Van Horn. Praying for a full recovery for his partner, who is currently in serious condition. The men and women of our Border Patrol have an incredibly dangerous and demanding job and they are our most important resource to securing our border.”